Tzatziki is very famous sauce which is often treated as a dip. It is commonly made using a herb known as dill. This herb is one of the main ingredients as it adds an aroma to the tzatziki but, if you do not have dill in your house you can resort to using alternatives. It is important to know that when making tzatziki only fresh herbs should be used thus this article highlights fresh herbs that can be used to substitute dill in tzatziki. For the benefit of those who do not know what dill is this article explains what dill is and also what tzatziki is so that it will be easier for you to know what to look for in a substitute.
What is dill?
Dill is a type of herb that is has a smell which is similar to anise or caraway. It is a delicate herb in the sense that when it is cooked for a long period it loses its taste but when used as a garnish it brings a lot of flavour to the dish. Dill is an aromatic herb meaning that when used in dishes it adds a pleasant aroma to the food.
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a Greek appetizer that is made using strained yoghurt, cucumbers, lemon, vinegar and herbs like dill. It can also be placed on the table and treated as a condiment. When finding a substitute for dill in tzatziki it is crucial to find an ingredient that compliments well with all the other ingredients found in tzatziki and also an ingredient that is similar to dill in terms of flavour and taste.
Substitutes for dill in tzatziki
NB: this is the most commonly used substitute for tzatziki and there is a debate that originally tzatziki is supposed to be made using mint whilst others opt that it’s supposed to be dill.
Mint can also be used as a substitute for tzatziki and it actually gives the tzatziki a nice flavour and aroma. Mint is an aromatic herb so you can never miss its smell when it is added to dishes. When using it as a substitute for dill in tzatziki simply use a ratio of 1:1.
NB: thyme belongs to the mint family, and it has a pungent flavour that is reminiscent to mint so it can be used as a substitute.
Since some people prefer using mint in tzatziki you can use thyme as a substitute when you don’t have dill or mint. Thyme retains its flavour when cooked unlike dill which is a delicate herb, thus when thyme is used as a substitute it will really give the tzatziki a distinct aromatic flavour.
NB: parsley is not a seasonal herb therefore you can find it all year round, you can even grow it in your own garden.
Substitute dill in tzatziki with parsley because it has almost the same flavour as dill. Parsley is a popular household herb that is used for making different dishes so the chances that you will have it in your kitchen are high. It has a mild flavour that will not overpower all the other ingredients so it is a good herb to use when making tzatziki.
NB: this herb belongs to the same family as parsley and it is also referred to as the French parsley.
Chervil can be used a substitute for dill in tzatziki this is because it has almost the same flavour as dill, moreover it is a delicate herb just like dill. Chervil has a very mellow flavour and it doesn’t have the potential of overpowering dishes that is why it is commonly used as a substitute for dill in tzatziki. When making tzatziki it is important to use herbs that are not too strong in terms of flavour since they will overpower the yoghurt, garlic as well as lemon.
NB: this herb does not mimic the texture and smell of dill but it works as a substitute since it is able to compliment well with all the ingredients found in tzatziki.
If you do not have dill then basil is also another decent substitute for dill in tzatziki. Basil does not have the same flavour as dill but when use as a substitute it complements well with the rest of the ingredients in tzatziki. There are different varieties of basil and the flavour of basil ranges from sweet to pungent, so you can choose your preferable variety. Basil can be placed in tzatziki sauce as a garnish. The other advantage of using basil as a substitute for dill is that it is available in most countries and it is relatively inexpensive.
Fresh tarragon is a good substitute for dill in tzatziki because it has a flavour which is reminiscent to that of dill. Fresh tarragon is commonly used in French recipes but now it is used in many parts of the country. This herb is able to withstand heat unlike dill which tends to loose flavour when a lot of heat is introduced. Fresh tarragon can be used in any fresh dipping sauces which means that it can be also used when making tzatziki. However, it is important to know that fresh tarragon has an intense flavour so you should use it cautiously so that it does not overpower your tzatziki sauce.
Tzatziki is commonly prepared using dill however, there is a debate that mint is the original herb that should be used. Both mint and dill are both aromatic herbs thus when used they add a wonderful aroma to the tzatziki, so you can substitute dill with mint. Thyme is also another substitute that was highlighted and its scent mimics that of mint very well. Parsley is also another substitute for tzatziki and it is a convenient substitute since it is not a seasonal herb. Basil can also be used to substitute tzatziki but it does not have the same flavour as dill but it compliments well with the flavours found in dill. Chervil and fresh tarragon are also decent substitutes of dill in tzatziki so you can try them out.